With Kevin Love reportedly telling the Timberwolves that he plans to exercise his early termination option after the season, it is beginning to look like Love’s time in Minnesota will be ending soon.
Now it sounds like Ricky Rubio is ready to take over the leadership role for the team whether Love is there or not. According to Bleacher Report, Rubio acknowledged Love’s greatness, but also called into question his leadership:
He’s a special player, the numbers he puts up are incredible, but we need a different leader. He’s our leader in points and other things, but vocally he’s not the type of player that wants to be, or that can be the leader. There are different types of leaders. It didn’t have to be him. It could have been Kevin Martin, who has a bit more experience, or I could take a step forward and be the definitive leader.
These are strong words from Love’s longtime teammate. There is no question Love is talented, but many wonder whether he is someone who can truly put his team on his back and lead them to the playoffs and beyond.
Timberwolves fans witnessed Kevin Garnett get the team to the playoffs for years with a lackluster supporting cast, yet Love has been unable to get the Timberwolves over the hump.
The leader of the team is not always the best player. Kobe Bryant was obviously at the head of the Lakers last two championship teams, but Derek Fisher’s presence was invaluable. He was just as much of a leader, if not more, than Bryant.
Love will have a number of teams lining up their best trade offers in order to acquire him. But if there are some leadership issues, it changes the type of team you have to put around him.
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